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Island Life, Word Birds & Process #16

The part of Cornwall I visit is another kind of island. It’s close to the sea, on several sides. Secluded at the far end of a long track the timber-framed house built by my son and daughter-in-love sits in an oasis of calm. The family – which includes my two beautiful teenage granddaughters – inhabit the land, work it, respect it and by and large live off it. They make things, grow food and raise animals. There are goats and bees, vegetables galore, grapes, willow for baskets, apple trees, chickens, a dog and right now, kittens. It’s a perfect place to be and where I was last week, hence no blog post. With intermittent WiFi I was happy to take a break.


In the meantime – goodness me!

We are twelve hours away from the NotTheBooker shortlist vote closing. To my genuine astonishment, I have over a dozen mentions and some lovely reviews. They’re creeping up on Amazon too and each one is a gift. I don’t do stats because I don’t understand how they work. I’m not uninterested – it’s just that me knowing where my book is on a graph makes no difference. It’s still there. I’m still here – being me and wondering if I can write another book. Because that’s also important to me.

I digress. Many of the voters are known to me purely because the online author/reader community is tight-knit and supportive. Some are not and that is particularly gratifying. Which is not to say the reviews from people who know me (either in real life or virtually) don’t matter. They do – they are pretty fantastic to be honest and I’m genuinely blown away.

The odd comment has been made about the thing being ‘rigged’ and that some reviews have been written by publicists (or author’s aunties!) This may be true in a few cases – I have no idea although I doubt it. And in any case I know the difference between a sycophant and a genuine admirer. I’m deeply touched that people have made the effort to write original and generous reviews for my little book. Ghostbird is still flying high and she’s having the time of her life!

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And I am still on a list with Edna O’Brien, content to be…

Onward and sideways, dear reader.